Lip Lessons: What Can Brown Do for You?

Published in: Makeup

Rae rules!We’ve been put on notice today — theNotice, that is. The faboo Rae of theNotice blog shares one of her favorite lip tricks with brown liner.



Brown lip liners… What can I say about them other than “Hello, ’90s”? Here’s the thing: I think they’re ugly, and not normal ugly, but, like, horrendous.

We’re not talking about sheer browns or reddish-browns either. We’re talking about true brown lip colours — opaque browns — like Paula Dorf’s Voodoo pencil ($20).

It would make a stunning eyeliner. In fact, I’d call it perfect, with its gorgeous chocolate brown base and the most wonderful gold flecks.


But it’s not an eyeliner. Oh, no. It’s not.


I wanted to see what kind of lip Voodoo I could do with Voodoo, so I started by layering it underneath a coral gloss.

The experiment failed…


Luckily, a true beauty addict never gives up! When a product calls to you, you make that baby work.

Next, I figured I’d try layering it with a red lipstick –- something from my stash that people rave about, something like MAC’s infamous Dubonnet lipstick.

As much as I like Dubonnet, I can’t wear it without layering the heck out of it — sometimes over a burgundy liner, other times topped with black gloss.

On it went overtop Voodoo…


*Cue the heavens opening and choir songs*

I think the brown in Voodoo tones down the fire truck red/orange tones in Dubonnet, giving it more of a berry edge.


I couldn’t stop there. Wanting a holiday lip look, I topped it with Sephora’s Bronzed Beauty (smells rank, but I do adore the colour).


TA-DA! And to think — this started out with a gross-looking brown liner!

Lesson of the day? Don’t judge a book by its cover. Try a brown lip liner or lipstick beneath a red that’s too va-va-vroom for you. It may just work miracles!

This post was written by Rae, the beautiful brains behind theNotice. Beauty blogger (with a wicked penchant for lip looks), student and makeup enthusiast, Rae can’t remember a time when she didn’t love makeup.


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So far, 26 people have commented on this article. How cool is that?

  1. Mariah says:

    Well once you combined it with lipstick it was wearable! LOL! But omg, for the love of God and all that is holy, PLEASE, never just line your lips with this and then fill them in with nude lipstick/gloss!!! *GAG*

  2. Marley says:

    Genius!! I have to try it!
    .-= Marley’s last blog post… Neat. =-.

  3. Sheila says:

    It looks so much better with something on top! I guess thats the thing with all lip liners, you just can’t wear them alone, unless they’re those classic red ones, haha.
    .-= Sheila’s last blog post… Makeup in New Moon & Urban Decay mini haul =-.

  4. Rebecca says:

    Ooh, major improvement! You weren’t kidding when you said brown lippies are horrendous… I’ve never really understood the point of their existence, but this one really does look good with the Dubonnet! Proof that Rae is magic, if we ever needed any 😉
    .-= Rebecca’s last blog post… Aussie Deeeeep Conditioner: It’s a Follicle Miracle! =-.

    • Rae says:

      Haha, no I wasn’t 😛 I mean, I’m sure some ladies can rock them, but I am definitely NOT one of them!!

      And thank you =D I had a phase where pretty much anything would warrant me announcing “that’s because I’m magic!” so I guess it finally paid off.

      (I did actually manage to convince one of my friends to start calling me magic. She tends to be very impressionable, so when she hears something enough she starts repeating it! The look of surprise on her face the first time she said it was priceless — “that’s because Rae is — WHOA WHOA GUYS WHAT AM I SAYING?!”)
      .-= Rae’s last blog post… The five most expensive colour items at Bergdorf’s =-.

  5. Jenny says:

    brown lippie plus dubbonet looks stunning!!

  6. Solé says:

    I was in the 10th grade when brown lippies made their appearance (1992), and I was all over it before it made its way into the mainstream. Strangely enough, when I look at pics of myself at that time, I don’t hate the brown liner/lipstick (I should clarify I never used it alone). In fact, it makes me feel kind of nostalgic when I remember that excited feeling I used to get as a teenager when trying something completely new before everyone else did. Which isn’t to say I would wear it nowadays, unless of course I was using it to alter the color of another lipstick as you did. Kudos on making it work for you, it looks really pretty! And I agree that those Sephora glosses smell strange. I got the free birthday set and mine didn’t smell sugary, but they had this weird old plastic smell, like cheaper than cheap gloss. I still use them though cos they’re pretty.

    • Rae says:

      I’m jealous! Some ladies can really rock the brown liner — maybe you’re one of them, or maybe you just figured out how to layer lippies successfully really early on 🙂

      The Sephora glosses really do have that awful plastic scent to them… but you’re right, they’re pretty ^^
      .-= Rae’s last blog post… Making shadows POP using milk =-.

  7. Carrie says:

    Y’all are going to think I’m *insane*, but I actually like the look of the brown liner under the coral gloss…! I think it’s pretty.

    • Rae says:

      I don’t think you’re insane!! (Well, okaaaay, maybe I think you’re a little bit insane. But only a little!) My cosmetology instructor always told us that people are often attracted to colours they look good in* so perhaps it’s just that you look good in browns!!

      *For instance, one of my favourite colours is purple, and it goes well with the cool undertones of my skin
      .-= Rae’s last blog post… More guest posting =-.

  8. DonnaN says:

    OK, so I’m having some wicked “My So-Called Life” flashbacks…….now I remember why I stay away from brown lips……With my pale skin, I look half-dead!

  9. amy says:

    The colour looks very cute layered over the red gloss. AHHHH matte brown lips remind me of my days in high school.
    .-= amy’s last blog post… Tarte Treasure Chest Tier 3: Lipglosses, Review and Swatches Part A =-.

  10. Vonvon says:

    Wow!! what a wonderful transformation….the end result is gorgeous color!
    .-= Vonvon’s last blog post… Reviews: Tsuya-Tsuya Long Lasting Mascara And Angel Eyes =-.

  11. Marisol says:

    Wow that looks great!
    .-= Marisol’s last blog post… This is what a make-up no buy looks like =-.

  12. Christy says:

    Wow, u made that work well 🙂 I’m much the same, I always end up layering lip liners under a lipstick to morph it into something wearable.
    .-= Christy’s last blog post… Volturi Twilight Cosmetics Labyrinth Loose Eye Shadow & Enrapture Lip Gloss Review & Swatches =-.

  13. that’s a very interesting color!!
    .-= Blovet Beauty’s last blog post… MUFE & Random Makeup =-.

  14. Kristina says:

    Keep in mind that brown lip liners are “nudes” for us darker ladies. If I were to line with a true nude it would look like a gray, ashy, line around my mouth.

    Remember when looking at makeup, that it isn’t designed exclusively for light skinned people, so some products that may look horrendous, or unthinkable for you are for another skin tone.

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